ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Mohammad Pervaiz Malik has vowed to enhance economic ties between Pakistan and Belarus in areas of mutual interest.
“The two countries have immense potential for stronger economic and commercial relations and the current trade volume could be substantially enhanced,” the minister said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile on Wednesday.
Malik expressed these views during a meeting with Belarusian Ambassador to Pakistan Andrei G Ermolovich.
The minister said Pakistan offers excellent investment opportunities, especially after the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
“Belarusian investors can take advantage of the incentives provided by the government of Pakistan and benefit from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being set up in the country,” he said.
Malik stressed that Pakistan was ready to give trade incentives to Belarus on an equal and mutually beneficial basis, hoping that both sides would hold further meetings to improve cooperation in commerce and trade sectors.
Ermolovich apprised the minister of the trade opportunities lying ahead that could provide a big boost to bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Belarus have progressed rapidly over the past two years and will grow further with time,” the ambassador remarked.
He pointed out that Pakistan and Belarus could enhance trade and cooperation in different sectors, particularly manufacturing and agriculture.
“Pakistan and Belarus must exchange high-level delegations and also conduct more Joint Trade Committee meetings to improve bilateral trade and also gauge the progress on implementation of a proposed roadmap,” he added.
Pakistan’s exports to Belarus were $0.6 million in 2015-16 while its imports were worth $28.2 million.
The overall balance of trade is in favour of Belarus due to large imports of tractors, petroleum products, machinery, auto parts, vegetables and synthetic fibre.
Pakistan has the potential of increasing its trade in textiles, foodstuffs, surgical instruments, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and mineral products.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2017.